Dynamite Statistics Comparing NRA and Lawyer Contributions


PDA






Waitone
August 13, 2005, 08:50 PM
http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=16066&catcode=13
<Highlights added by poster>

Gun Control: Rebuttal to Michael Barnes, Brady Campaign
Written by Howard Nemerov
Friday, August 05, 2005

“This is a day in America when the little guy lost out to powerful special interests.” – Michael Barnes, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence[1]

This doleful lament is in response to the Senate’s passing of the tort reform bill outlawing frivolous lawsuits filed to hold firearms manufacturers accountable for the illegal actions of violent criminals.[2]
Who Does Michael Barnes Really Represent?

A bit of background on Michael Barnes is in order. He is a Washington insider, having been a congressman from 1979-1987. He is a lawyer who has an association with the law firm of Hogan & Hartson.[3]

As a member of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Hogan & Hartson supports the Committee’s filing of District of Columbia, et al. v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., et al. which “contends that gun manufacturers should be liable for negligently permitting–through illegal sales and distribution channels–guns to illegally enter the District.” By association, Hogan & Hartson agrees that manufacturers are responsible for criminals importing and using guns “illegally.” The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, part of the Brady Campaign, is a co-counsel on this case.[4]

In 2004, lawyers contributed over $180 million in federal campaign contributions.[5] A perusal of those who voted “Nay” on this bill is a Who’s Who of senators who received this campaign money:

--The 31 senators who voted “Nay” received nearly as much law firm money as the 65 who voted “Aye.”

--For 31% those who voted “Aye,” lawyers were the number one industry contributor.

--Among those who voted “Nay,” lawyers were number one for 74%.[6]


Those senators voting against tort reform are clearly more influenced by campaign contributions from lawyers. Thus, we have a series of direct links between Michael Barnes, the heavily-vested interests of wealthy law firms, and anti-gun politicians, all interested in maintaining these frivolous liability suits for financial reasons.

Campaign Contribution Reality for Whiners – 101

Mr. Barnes complains of “powerful special interests” having undue influence on the decision-making processes in Congress. In a sense, he is absolutely correct.


In 2002, there were 695,000 lawyers in the United States.[7] Their campaign contribution for that year’s election cycle was $95,478,421 or $137 per lawyer.[8] According to Mr. Barnes, this is not “powerful special interests.” During the same cycle, the National Rifle Association contributed $2,027,889.[9] Since the NRA has about 3 million members,[10] this averages out to 68 cents per member. Rather than avail themselves of readily-available monetary wealth, as news reports imply, the organization practices what Barnes implies is the subversive, anti-democratic method of voter activism:



As former Clinton spokesman George Stephanopoulos said, “Let me make one small vote for the NRA. They’re good citizens. They call their Congressmen. They write. They vote. They contribute. And they get what they want over time.”[11]



While lawyers contributed their $180 million during the 2004 election cycle, the NRA’s contributions dropped to $1,151,130,[12] or about 38 cents per member: this is “powerful special interests;” 695,000 lawyers, donating about $260 each, is not.



Baron & Budd, supporter of gun manufacturer liability lawsuits like the Beretta case mentioned above, contributed $1,257,722 during the election cycle, more than the entire NRA, and they are only the third highest law firm contributor.[13] Employing “over 80 attorneys,”[14] this averages out to about $15,000 per attorney. According to Barnes, this level of contribution by lawyers, seeking to maintain a favorable legal environment for potentially valuable tort litigation, merely symbolizes “the little guys” trying to fend off special interest manipulation of Congress.

Conclusion

The people, not the moneyed interests, of America spoke to their senators, who responded by voting to ban frivolous lawsuits, which attempt to hold manufacturers accountable for the illegal actions of violent criminals. Barely able to scrape together $86,000 for the 2004 election cycle, Mr. Barnes and the Brady Campaign have once again tried to convince the public that Godzilla is really Bam
bi.

If you enjoyed reading about "Dynamite Statistics Comparing NRA and Lawyer Contributions" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Standing Wolf
August 13, 2005, 09:38 PM
This is a day in America when the little guy lost out to powerful special interests.

Yeah. The leftist extremists love the little guy so much, they want to leave him completely defenseless against the predators.

Nightfall
August 14, 2005, 10:18 AM
I always roll my eyes when I hear about the powerful gun industry, and the big, evil NRA with all its special interest money. I wish the gun industry was as rich and powerful as the antis think it is. :rolleyes:

fourays2
August 14, 2005, 11:39 AM
the NRA is rich in votes, the trial lawyers have funds to try and bribe the pols. that old bumper sticker "I'm the NRA and I vote" is really true.

If you enjoyed reading about "Dynamite Statistics Comparing NRA and Lawyer Contributions" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!